The Storming of the Bastille sparked the French Revolution in 1789, creating a call to action so profound, we're celebrating it hundreds of years later.
This Saturday, July 14, cities in France and around the world will set off fireworks, storm faux bastilles and honor all things France in celebrations that will have everyone shouting, "Vive la France!"
Check out Cheapflights.com's Top 10 Cities to Celebrate Bastille Day where you can relish in the French culture and spirit as they celebrate their National Day.
For slightly obvious reasons, there’s no better spot in the world to celebrate Bastille Day than Paris. Referred to as La Fête de la Bastille or La Fête Nationale in French, the national celebration begins with a spectacular military parade on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées that crowds gather hours ahead of time to see. Museums throughout Paris are free to the public that day, so many head to the Louvre and other major monuments before checking out the evening’s fireworks display near the Eiffel Tower. Search and compare <a href="http://www.cheapflights.com/flights-to-Paris/" target="_hplink">cheap flights to Paris</a>.
The City of Brotherly Love puts on quite a show annually to honor the French holiday, from street festivals to movie screenings to re-enactments of the Storming of the Bastille. The four-day festival is slightly eclipsed, though, by the city’s year-round celebration of everything France, from its restaurants (Le Bec-Fin, Parc, Bibou) to its French-focused art (the Rodin Museum is the greatest collection of work outside of Paris). Search and compare <a href="http://www.cheapflights.com/flights-to-Philadelphia-PA" target="_hplink">cheap flights to Philadelphia</a>.
These seemingly untouched islands are a colonial wonder across the Atlantic from their governing nation. France smartly held onto the cod- and lobster-stocked territory under the Treaty of Paris, creating a Francophile’s dream near Canada’s Grand Banks. Discover the islands during Bastille Day and revel in games, prizes and delicious food stalls. Or, consider staying the summer and attending the fantastic Basque Festival, where athletic competitions prevail, culminating in traditional evening balls. Search and compare <a href="http://www.cheapflights.com/flights-to-newfoundland-and-labrador/" target="_hplink">cheap flights to Newfoundland</a>.
Travelers exploring Southeast Asia may feel like they’ve entered another (Western) world when they first see out-of-the-oven baguettes lining Hanoi’s food stalls. Only a few French traditions are upheld in the once-French-occupied country (like architecture, railways and, of course, the baguettes), but Vietnam infuses the French influences seamlessly with its rich and traditional Eastern culture. Search and compare <a href="http://www.cheapflights.com/flights-to-hanoi/" target="_hplink">cheap flights to Hanoi</a>.
The most French of America’s cities, New Orleans appropriately rolls out the carpet for a whole week leading up to Bastille Day each year. A French mass at St. Louis Cathedral starts the weeklong celebration, and the festivities continue with poetry readings, gala dinners and, on Bastille Day, a French poodle contest (bring the camera), a wreath-laying ceremony, block parties and food-and-wine events galore. Search and compare <a href="http://www.cheapflights.com/flights-to-New-Orleans/" target="_hplink">cheap flights to New Orleans</a>.
Fireworks light the night sky on Bastille Day each year in Liège, Belgium's third-largest city, situated near its eastern borders with Germany and the Netherlands. The riverside town has celebrated French independence since WWI, when it was honored by France's Légion d'Honneur for its efforts against the Germans during the famous Battle of Liège. Spectators gather joyously outside of Congress Hall to take in the festivities and commemorate the historic day. Search and compare <a href="http://www.cheapflights.com/flights-to-liege/" target="_hplink">cheap flights to Liege</a>.
For many Canadian and American Francophiles, Montreal is a taste of Paris without the cross-Atlantic flight. Since the French-speaking city was established before the French Revolution, many Montrealers focus their celebratory efforts toward St.-Jean Baptiste Day in June. But on July 14 each year, the French Union graciously invites the French community to celebrate with delicious food, drink and live music, in a city that seeps all-things-French year-round. Search and compare <a href="http://www.cheapflights.com/flights-to-Montreal" target="_hplink">cheap flights to Montreal</a>.
Only a mere two hours from Paris by train, London and its large French contingent do their due diligence when it comes to organizing Bastille Day festivities citywide. Bring your French flag to Canary Warf, Battersea Park, Borough Market or any of the other urban destinations, and nosh on French fare and culture through craft stalls, French games like pétanque, and theatrical performances that’ll fill any visitor – English, French or other – with French pride. Search and compare <a href="http://www.cheapflights.com/flights-to-London/" target="_hplink">cheap flights to London</a>.
Budapest pays wonderful homage to France during its two-day Bastille Day celebration, sponsored by the city’s French Institute. The city that boasts eateries like the decadent Pavillon de Paris and sites like the Paris Department Store and recreated Moulin Rouge pays reverence to France during a Bastille Day-themed weekend full of dance lessons, food and wine markets and a grand display of fireworks. Search and compare <a href="http://www.cheapflights.com/flights-to-Budapest/" target="_hplink">cheap flights to Budapest</a>.
The French’s fight for independence is proudly celebrated in cities across America, but perhaps most grandly in – wait for it – the Midwest. Milwaukee’s Bastille Days is a four-day street festival centered on the city’s Cathedral Square Park that starts with a Storm of the Bastille run and a massive replica of the Eiffel Tower. Parades, street performers, live concerts and Mardi Gras-themed festivities are on the line-up this year, offering folks in Wisconsin a miniature Paris in their own backyard. Search and compare <a href="http://www.cheapflights.com/flights-to-Milwaukee/" target="_hplink">cheap flights to Milwaukee</a>.
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